The other day I transcribed the will of James B[ecraft] Harding. I am one of his descendants through my grandmother Gladys. James’ daughter Ruth (by his first marriage to Verlinda Wilcoxon) married Charles F. Harding, in Montgomery County, Maryland on 14 October 1818. I have yet to figure out how Charles fits into the Harding family of Montgomery County, Maryland. On the death certificate of Ruth and Charles’ daughter Cassandra (Harding) Lawhead, her parents were recorded as Elias Harting and Ruth Wilcox. Obviously the informant for the death certificate confused some of the family names. I suspect that Charles F. Harding was related to Elias Harding in some way. I am working my way through the Harding wills and other legal documents in Montgomery County to see if I can figure out how the extended family fits together.
Will of Elias Harding
Montgomery County, Maryland
Will book D: 295-297
Written 10 November 1799; filed 10 March 1800
In the Name of God Amen I Elias Harding of Montgomery County and State of Maryland being sick and weak in body but of sound mind memory and understanding praised be the Lord for his mercy do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following that is to say, First I commend my soul into Almighty God who gave it me hoping through the merits of my redeemer Jesus Christ to obtain full remission of my manifold transgressions, and my body to the Grave to be decently intered at the discretion of my Executors hereafter named and as for all the Worldly Estate wherewith it hat pleased God to bless me I dispose thereof in manner following – First my will and desire is that all my Just debts and funeral Expences be first paid by my Executors. Secondly I give and bequeath unto my son Edward Harding One Negro Boy named Enos to him his heirs and assigns for ever – Thirdly I give and bequeath unto my son Josiah Harding one Negro named Ben to him his heirs and assigns for ever – Fourthly I give and bequeath unto my son Nathan Harding one Negro named Davy to him his heirs and assigns for ever – Fifthly I give and bequeath unto my son John Harding one Negro named Ezeheel to him his heirs and assigns for ever – Sixthly I give and bequeath unto my Grand son Thomas Noble Harwood Harding son of John Harding one Negro boy named Scipio (or Scip) his heirs and assigns for ever – and my Will and desire is that the same Negro be kept by my said son John Harding until my said Grand son Thomas Noble Harwood Harding shall arrive to the age of eighteen years at which period my will and desire is that my said Grand son shall be put in possession of said Negro Scipio or Scip to act and do with him as he may think most beneficient for himself with out the constraint of any person whatever and in case my
[page 2] said Grand son Thomas Noble Harwood Harding should decease before he arrives to the age of eighteen years as aforesaid my will is that the said Negro be legally and impartially appraised and an equal distribution of his Value be made between the brothers and sisters of my said Grand son which shall then survive him share and share alike. Seventhly I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Elizabeth Harding during her life or widowhood, all my Real and personal Estate of every kind and nature whatever save and except the before mentioned bequests and at the decease or marriage I give and bequeath unto my son John Harding his heirs and assigns for ever one hundred and fifty acres of Land part of the tract I live on called forrest to be laid out on the West side of my said Tract of Land called Forrest and to extend Eastwardly till a course run from the North side south degrees a Cross the said Tract shall include the said one hundred and fifty acres of Land and Improvements in which I now dwell with all other the appurtenances thereon, I give and bequeath unto my son Nathan Harding his heirs and assigns for ever all the remaining part of my said Tract of Land called Forrest being the East side of it and on which my son John Harding now swells – And as to my personal Estate bequeathed to my wife during her lie or widowhood my Will is that at her decease or marriage my Executors sell so much of it as will amount to forty pounds current money of Maryland as now commonly passing which said sum of Forty pounds I give and bequeath unto my four Grand children the Children of my deceased son Walter Harding Namely Elias Harding, Philip Harding, Mary Drane wife of Thomas O. Drane and Elizabeth Williams wife of Benjamin Williams to each of them respectively separately and Severally the sum of ten pounds like money to be paid them and each of them by my Executors and in case either of my said four Grand children shall die before the receipt of the said ten pounds my will is that the Legacy of the deceased go to the legal representative or representatives of the deceased if any, if none, the said Legacy of the deceased shall be divided between the survivors of them or their heirs, share and share alike. Also my Will is that after full payment of the before mentioned Legacies that all the residue and remaining part of my personal Estate devised to my loving wife Elizabeth as aforesaid and at her decease or marriage to be equally divided between my son Edward, my son Josiah, the legal representatives of my son Basil being four children (to wit) Mary, Sarah, Elizabeth and Walter, that is for the said four children of my son Basil
[page 3] to share only one fifth part of the aforesaid remaining part of my personal Estate. My daughter Elizabeth Perry, wife of Erasmus Perry and Deborah Wheeler wife of John Hanson Wheeler, and in case of the decease of either of my said sons or Daughters or either of the four Children of my deceased son Basil my Will is that the shares of any such Deceased shall go to his, her or their legal representatives, And lastly I do hereby nominate and appoint my two sons Edward Harding and John Harding Joint Executors of this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking making null and void all former wills and wills by me heretofore made ratifying and confirming this only to to be my last Will and Testament. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this tenth day of November one Thousand seven hundred and ninety nine – Elias Harding [seal]
Signed Sealed Published and declared by the
Above named Elias Harding as and for his last
Will and Testament in the presence of us who
Have hereunto subscribed our names as witness thereto in the presence of the said Testator and at his request and in the presence of each other –
Alexʳ Whitaker, Walter Williams, Hugh s. Dunn –
Montgomery County Scᵗ On the 10th day of March 1800 then came Alexander Whitaker, Walter Williams and Hugh S. Dunn the three subscribing witnesses to the within last Will and Testament of Elias Haridng late of said County deceased and made Oath on the Holy Evangely of Almighty God, that the signature of Elias Harding signed at the foot of the within Will was done in their presents and that they heard him publish pronounce and declare the same to be his last will and Testament and at the time of his so doing he was to the best of their apprehension of sound and deposing mind memory and understanding and that they respectively subscribed their names as witnesses to the Will in the presence and at the request of the Testator and in the presence of each other –
Certified by Samᴵ Turner Regʳ
©2014 transcription by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2014/10/08/will-of-elias-harding/
The first eight lines of the will: wow, eloquent writing, and very flowery statement of his faith. Impressive. But the deep faith and piety accommodated slavery and the treatment of people as property. THEN he talks about land property.
“sell so much of it as will amount to forty pounds current money of Maryland” Well before a system of dollar-based national currency.